There was a church in a mid-western farming community that had not received rain in a long while. The crops were withering and the farmers feared economic disaster.
The Pastor of this church announced, “Next Sunday we will have a special prayer service where anyone who wants to can offer a prayer for rain. Be sure you come prepared.”
The following Sunday, most of the service was given over to allowing members to lead the congregation in prayers for rain. When all who wanted to had taken a turn, the pastor stood again before them and said, “Those were some mighty fine prayers. Most were heart-felt, a couple were down right eloquent. Now, by show of hands, how many of you brought an umbrella to church today?”
No one raised their hand. Most looked at one another in astonishment over the Pastor’s question.
“That, my friends, is why we don’t have rain. I told you to come prepared. If you believed your prayers would be heard and answered, you’d have brought an umbrella to get you home in the rain.”
His abbreviated sermon was about acting in faith and asking in faith. If we do not believe it will be granted, what’s the point in praying? The Holy Spirit, which is the power of God in this world, does amazing things when we ask with a pure heart and an expectant spirit.